Ever since I moved into my first apartment, I have been dogless. I have grown up with dogs, babysat dogs, and generally been obsessed with dogs since I was very young. While browsing through petfinder.com, I stumbled across a local rescue shelter, and some super fluffy Great Pyrenees puppies. Casually scanning through the photos of the pups for adoption, I stumbled across this little white fluff ball. Made a quick call, a PayPal deposit, and a quick drive to an adoption event, and the next thing I know, I am a mommy!
I have always rescued animals, and really believe that is the way to find a new furry friend. I am a huge advocate of adopt, don’t shop. I adopted him from A Paw and A Prayer here in the Chattanooga area. He is just 9 weeks so far, and turns 10 weeks in just a few days. This is my first puppy that I am raising on my own, but have experienced many puppies in my day, even some my parents did not want me to bring home. I just cannot resist dogs! He is a Great Pyrenees, and is going to get pretty darn big, which means eventually, I will need a bigger living space, but anything for him! I lucked out with this little guy. He is very calm, sweet to humans and other animals, and is pretty quiet.
Being a first time fur baby parent can be pretty daunting. I have a couple of tips that will hopefully help you on your journey to finding your next best friend. Giving them a great life is as important as creating a great life for yourself. I am definitely not a professional, but these are things my family has done throughout my life with all sorts of breeds.
- Start crate training early. I promise it is worth it. Dogs enjoy crates because it creates a safe environment for them that they know is theirs. I catch Neyland just hanging out in his crate all the time, and when it is time for him to be in the crate, he usually walks right in! I keep him in the crate when I am going somewhere that he cannot go, when we are sleeping, or random times just to make sure he gets used to being in it.
- You need to get your dog out there! If it is pet friendly, you bet your bottom dollar that Neyland is going. His breed especially needs to be socialized at an early age. This really helps with getting to know other dogs which is important for any sort of puppy. It helps with meeting new people which can prevent aggression issues. It also helps with travel and leash training. Socialization can greatly reduce aggressive tendencies, and unwanted behaviors in public too.
- I think a lot of people are under the impression that you need to constantly tell your dog no, or punish them when they are doing something they shouldn’t. I was taught that rewarding an animals good behavior is more constructive to their adult life/personality than punishments are. Punishing an animal can lead to a damaged relationship between you and your little friend. Think about the way you would want to learn something. Would you constantly want to be put down? Didn’t think so, and neither does your little pup.
- Luckily, my adoption fees included neutering, which is a lifesaver. While you may want your new pup to find a girlfriend and have pups of their own, there are so many dogs in the world without homes and that are abused every day. We need to make sure those animals have loving homes. Not only does this prevent pregnancy, it can help with their behavior, and trust me, a pup on her period is an impossible mess.
- Even though we all dream of the perfect puppy who we can raise on our own, don’t disregard other animals. Sometimes the older they are, the easier it is to raise them and become best friends. They may have already learned the difference between right and wrong. This may be ideal for a first time owner. It is easier to get in the swing of things.
- Lastly, if you think something is up with your new friend, don’t be afraid to take him or her to the vet. There are a lot of issues that puppies can get, and instead of making your new buddy suffer, go ahead and get them fixed up. Parvo is a real life issue when it comes to puppies. Love them and treat them well!
Have you adopted any animals? What are your tips to raising your little buddy? Let me know down below!